Military snipers view ghillie suits as the ultimate tool in concealment since they allow snipers to remain undetected as they position themselves in range of a target. Ghillie Suits distort the human outline and adapt to natural surroundings better than any other camouflage outfit. Military-style ghillie suits are now extremely popular in hunting, airsoft, paintball, and other outdoor activities.
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A military ghillie suit is constructed by attaching jute, burlap, or synthetic material to an Army Combat Uniform or Battle Dress Uniform rather than nylon netting or lightweight mesh. Army Combat Uniforms (ACUs) and Battle Dress Uniforms (BDUs) are fatigues worn in combat situations by the U.S. armed forces and law enforcement agencies across the country. The military ghillie suit is the most durable of all ghillie suits because of the sturdiness of ACUs and BDUs. In the past, most ghillie suits were made from jute thread and burlap. The coarse fabric of jute was widely available since it was already used to manufacture military field equipment and clothing. However, the military has favored using synthetic thread over jute thread in recent years for making ghillie suits. Synthetic thread is lighter than jute thread and also naturally fire resistant. Therefore, constructing ghilie suits with synthetic thread provides increased mobility and safety to a sniper. Some military-style ghillie suits, like the Sniper BDU Jacket and Pants, are built for long sniper crawls with reinforced material in the chest, arm, and leg areas. Most ghillie suits are built with an attached hood, but some solidiers wear a ghillie boonie hat as an alternative.
An effective military ghillie suit can take over 40 hours to make. Many ghillie suits are made by sewing ghillie material and thread directly onto the Battle Dress Uniform. For other suits, the ghillie material is tied onto nylon netting, and then the netting is glued or sewn onto the BDU. Whether you decide to spend the time to make your own ghillie suit or purchase one already constructed, consider the landscape and vegetation of where the suit will be worn. Darker green color patterns of forests can vary greatly from lighter colors of arid environments like deserts. So choose colors that best match your terrain, and consider adding local foliage to further enhance the effectiveness of the suit.
Ghillie suits are a valuable piece of camouflage worn by snipers in the armed forces, but the popularity of military ghillie suits has carried over into paintball, airsoft, and hunting. Many outdoor enthusiasts rely on military ghilie suits for their fit and durability.